Monday, December 24, 2012

Seasons Greetings

It is summer here in New Zealand, and Enzo and I have been enjoying a pre-Christmas holiday at the beach. A week of swimming, wave jumping, chasing toys, running in the sand, long walks, BBQ food and sleeping on the deck under the stars.

We wish all our fur-rends Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013.

Riley (on the right) and Enzo  - a.k.a the salty dogs!

Monday, December 10, 2012

They did it!

Two dogs both drove a car without a human touching the car's controls! You can see how they did here...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teaching dogs new tricks

I want to learn to drive, and I want a Mini to be my first car! I now know this dream is possible as I watched three dogs on TV last night learning to drive a car... yes you read that right, here in New Zealand, as part of the SPCA's latest promotion to get people to adopt dogs, dogs are being taught drive. Next Monday night, LIVE on national TV, the top dog is going to drive a human around a car race track without any human help!

Have a look at this short video (1:16 minutes long),

and if you are interested in more detail see TV last night  (8:57minutes long) for the step by step training method and dogs driving (ignore the advertisement at the front - the driving part is about 3/4 of the way in), and the SPCA Auckland Facebook page.

The dogs are almost fully trained. On Monday night my human and I will be in front of our big black box watching live... and if the dog drives by himself then I want to be first in line for my very own doggie driving lessons from these guys. I will let you know how thins go. My paws will be crossed for a good result.

Just imagine - no more waiting to be chauffeured around, no more letting my human decide where we go, I could just get behind the wheel of "my Mini", let the wind blow in my fur while I go wherever I want. I could even drive my humans around.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Something different - aeroplanes and Hobbits

Just in case fly or like Hobbits, here is the latest video from Air New Zealand (our national airline) which has had over 8.8 million views on You Tube in the last two weeks. Now that number seems a lot to me as New Zealand is only a small country of 4.4 million people.

Who knew that an airline safety could become something people would actually choose to watch when they weren't inside an aeroplane!

If there was ever a safety video made for cats and dogs (e.g. the rules how to behave in a confined space) I wonder what it would be like? What instructions would we need?  Any ideas? Do cats get to leave first and dogs chase follow as fast as we can  calmly, or do the dogs obey instructions while the cats get to do whatever they want?

What do you think?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Musical beds.

I feel the need to explain the photo in my last Wordless Wednesday post. You see, Ted's comment was right. I wasn't at all happy as young Enzo and I had had a bit of a disagreement over our sleeping arrangements.

As a small puppy Enzo slept in a crate with the door closed. He slept with his security blanket - a little cream thing that he arrived with when he was eight weeks old. It had the smells of his brothers and sisters and mother, and he still (at 22 months old) finds his blanket comforting and carries it around even though mum's washed it many times.

As he got older he continued to sleep in his crate (with the door open).
I slept on an old hand-me down bed from the last Golden Retriever that lived in this house. It is my space, reasonably comfy and when my humans give me the "Bed" command I know that I have to stay there until mum gets up in the morning and gives me a tummy rub to release me so I can check out the garden.

Anyway, for some reason our two legged ones decided to remove the crate. Enzo had discovered an old bean bag, and every time it was put on the floor he couldn't resist making a little nest for himself, so they thought he might  like it to be his bed. 

I tried his bean bag once, but didn't enjoy the experience!However they put the bean bag on the floor beside my bed for him, and this is how we slept at night.

Until  he started doing this, and if I wanted my morning tummy rub I knew that I couldn't leave my bed.

There are other beds in our house that he could have gone to. In the family room we have a 1.8m long fabric covered piece of foam, where we rest while our humans watch TV. You would think Enzo would lie at one end of it and I could stretch out at the other end as there is enough space for the two of us, but he just uses me as a cushion while he chews on his toys.

Again he is at my end taking up space, though at least in this photo I have the upper paw!

At night they would send him to his bean bag and every morning at around 3am, even though they sleep at the other end of the house, they heard him moving around (to nest, to move to my bed, to go somewhere else, etc). He's also one of those dogs who woofs loudly as he chases rabbits in his sleep, so the bean bag rustling noises occurred often and our humans decided maybe Enzo needed a bed that wasn't a bean bag.
Guess what... they bought a new dog bed especially for him. As you can see, Enzo needs to be taught how to fit onto it, but he spent the first few days quite content, rubbing his face in the fabric, rolling round on his back and carrying his blanket to his bed.

He even slept on it all night. Then he decided he wanted "my bed" again so I started using his empty bed. I found his bed very comfy and big enough for me to relax on, with or without his blanket.

As you can see we both have enough space to sleep...
but now he has started doing this again.

What does a dog have to do to get a bed of his own where he can sleep at night undisturbed, as each morning our humans never know where they will find us or even if one of us will end up on the floor boards without a bed?


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

No labour on Labour Day

Today is public holiday (a.k.a. day off work) in New Zealand called “Labour Day” so first a little bit of history…
“Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.” (source )
It is our only public holiday until Christmas Day. Labour Day (spelt with a "u" in this part of the world) signals the start of summer. Many New Zealanders go away for the “three day weekend” or stay home and catch up on chores around their house and garden. It is traditionally the time to plant tomato seedlings, as the winter frosts should be over.
Now I’ve been thinking that I work more than an eight hour day. I spend my time cleaning food bowls, getting my humans to exercise, getting my humans to open doors, following them around the house, greeting the neighbours, checking on the neighbourhood cats, sniffing around the property, educating young Enzo in doggie ways, wrestling with Enzo (to show him who is really top dog!), depositing fur around my estate, posing for cute photo opportunities, fetching things and moving my toys around the house. I bark at strange cats, I bark at strange cars and I bark sometimes just for joy. I make strange noises when I stand at the front door and put paw prints over the floor boards. I train my human to think she is training me, and so far I have taught her how often to give me extra food. I retrieve balls; I lie on my back and allow her to feel relaxed (as she passes a brush through my fur), and I make her smile. I follow her around; lie on her feet (to keep her feet warm) as she writes my blog.  I accompany her in our car, and if she goes out without me I always eagerly great her when she returns home. I know I work more than eight hours each day, so today I think I will do this all day and I'll see if she notices!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

We saw the funniest thing on our walk today!

Sunday morning. Enzo and I are walking along the main road, near where we live. A convertible car is parked in the car park of the local pub, with the soft roof not fully closed. A gap of about six inches. We hear our two humans discuss why, and then we see a small white dog in the back. He barks at Enzo and me. 
Then the dog moves to the driver’s seat, stands on his hind legs and uses his front paws to sound the car horn. A long loud continuous noise. Two humans come out of the pub, approach the car and say something to their dog. Their dog moves away from the steering wheel and retreats to the passenger seat. The dog’s humans speak a few friendly words to my humans, then they return to the pub.
Their dog looks at Enzo and me again, moves back to the driver’s seat and this time beeps the horn with a series of short blasts. An obvious degree of urgency in his actions as we walk away. Beep...beeep...beeep...beep.... As we look back we see the dog’s humans return and take their dog out of the car. We continue our morning walk but just wish we’d had a camera with us to video what we saw!
Have a wonderful Sunday.
PS For all my dog and cat friends out there, how have you trained your humans to respond to you?

Monday, September 24, 2012


It's my birthday, and tonight I am going to see some of my four legged friends. Then apparently I'm getting special food for dinner! Food glorious food... there is nothing that makes me happier than being with my friends and getting extra food.

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was

FIVE (click this link for my 5th birthday)
FOUR (click this link for my 4th birthday)



and just a wee pup.
I'm still trying to work out how I got that big furry thing on my hips that you can see in the first photo! Do you think he will want to celebrate with me tonight? He seems to follow me everywhere I go.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012


(This photo was taken when I was younger,
and I had to have a bath afterwards)

We have been absent from blogging and mud is one of the reasons. It is winter here in Auckland, and it has rained so much that you can see where we run around our back yard.

My human spends her time trying to catch us, wiping our feet, washing the floor, washing all the towels she uses to clean us with and sighing a lot!  She says if she had dogs that always lived outdoors, or self-cleaning cats (with small feet) she wouldn't have this problem. She also says if she lived in a big house with a "mud room" or a maid she wouldn't have this problem.

When Enzo and I go outside the rain water and clay squelches up between our toes and sticks to our fur. 

(Enzo with just a hint of mud on his back legs!)


 (Enzo's feet sinking into the mud in our back yard - he tries
to look innocent, but I know better)

(Mum's gumboots sinking into the mud and surface water)

When we play and chase each other around the back yard the mud covers us. Mum can't keep us on short leashes all the time. There are times we need to visit the garden to do our business and we also find interesting puddles on our walks, so she has put huge mats by the doors (inside and outside) for us to wipe our feet. She is constantly telling us walk in circles on these mats or to stand still while she dries us with towels (that we try to steal off her which is another fun game!), but sometimes all her rubbing does is work the mud into our fur. One of us usually manages to escape the towel like Enzo did in the photo below.
 (Did I kick mud onto Enzo's face?)

(Enzo's front paws)

Mum also laughs when we try to cover her clothes with paw prints. She says if she didn't laugh she would cry, so she cleans up after us and then the next time we come inside she just laughs at our paw prints. Sometimes she leaves some of our prints on the floors until tomorrow, rather than vacuuming carpet and washing floors more than once a day!  
 (Surrounded by paw prints - our floors had already
been washed once on the day this photo was taken)

Now we know that there are people who would be horrified to have paw prints on their floors (so wouldn't let their dogs inside), and they may find it hard to look at these photos as they would be compelled to wash the floors four or five times a day if we were their dogs, but I think our mum has realised it is better to have two dogs who make her smile lots and for her to spend time doing nice things with us (like going for walks and playing games) than spending all her spare time cleaning the floors. Plus she knows Spring will be here soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


It is mid-winter in New Zealand, which means frosty mornings and cold nights. Here are a few photos from one of my recent walks.

Many of the trees have no leaves.

I am never far from these strange creatures, even in our inner city parks,

but they only take a mild interest in dogs and then they resume their lawn mowing duties.

There are leaves everywhere.

Time for photos. Enzo, on the right in the first photo (black collar and black tag - my collar is blue and has a blue tag), is eighteen months old now. He is almost my weight - but I have the furrier coat. Some people say we look alike and have trouble telling us apart but if you look closely we really are quite different.

Back to our walk. Look at the size of this tree! It is a Moreton Bay Fig tree and there are lots of these trees in the park.
The best thing about the Moreton Bay Fig tree is large roots. There are lots of interesting smells around the tree roots to explore. Enzo was in leg-lifting heaven.

I even found this plaque. If you click on the photo (to make it bigger) you can read about the tree.

Just remember that I live in NZ, so this tree comes from our neighbours in Australia.

 Still sniffing...
 and more sniffing...

So that was one of our winter walks. If you are in the heat wave in America I'd happily send you some of our cold winter weather - I just have to figure out how to send it to you!